South African rapper Costa Titch has died after collapsing onstage at Johannesburg’s Ultra South Africa music festival on Saturday (March 11). He was 28.
The family of the rapper, whose real name was Constantinos Tsobanoglou, confirmed the tragic news in a statement posted Sunday (March 12) on the artist’s Instagram account.
“Death has tragically knocked at our door. Robbing us of our beloved son, brother, and grandson,” the statement reads. “Constantinos Tsobanoglou (28), whom South Africa had come to love and idolize under his stage name ‘Costa Titch.’ It is with deep pain that we find ourselves having to acknowledge his passing at this time.”
His loved ones continued, “As a family, we are faced with a difficult time as we try to make sense of what has befallen us and ask that we be afforded the time and space to gather ourselves. The Tsobanoglou family thanks you for the love and support you have given to our son, and may you continue to uplift him even in spirit. Please keep us in your prayers and uplifted in the Lord.”
An official cause of death was not given at press time.
Videos circulating on social media show Titch collapsing briefly during his Ultra South Africa set at Johannesburg’s Nasrec Expo Centre on Saturday, then standing up to continue his performance before losing consciousness once again and being rushed off to the side.
Ultra South Africa organizers tweeted a statement on Sunday following Titch’s death.
“Costa was a galvanizing voice amongst South Africa’s amapiano scene — a talented rapper, dancer, singer, songwriter, collaborator and friend to the festival,” Ultra South Africa’s statement reads.
Titch, a rising star in the South African musical style amapiano, was signed to Akon’s Konvict Kulture label. The rapper recently collaborated with Akon on the single “Big Flexa,” from Titch’s 2022 album, Mr Big Flexa.
Titch won best collaboration and best remix at the 2020 South African Hip Hop Awards for his song “Nkalakatha,” featuring Riky Rick and Kiernan “AKA” Forbes. In early February, AKA was shot and killed outside of a restaurant in South Africa.
See the statement from Titch’s family about his passing below.